Wotlk Preparation Part 1: Hitting Level Caps

29 10 2008

Over the next few weeks before the launch of Wotlk, I will be talking about how I am preparing for Wotlk as well as offer advice to our readers on how to prepare for it. It seems to be a question that keeps coming up as we get closer to launch (November 13th 2008).

Hit level caps: From a profit standpoint, being at level cap with your character, professions, and skills will make you the most money. If you are not level 70 yet, try your best to get there before the expansion. This also goes for your professions, including gathering skills and secondary professions. Bring them up to 375, this includes cooking, fishing, and first aid. The price of some materials have dropped significantly so getting the rest of those skill points shouldn’t be too expensive. Even if you don’t plan on using your secondary professions, it is still a good idea to since it will unlock the daily quests for them. You can always sell the rewards from them like [Northern Spices], which will be in high demand at first. However I still recommend using cooking to turn all that meat you will loot into profit by cooking it.

You may also consider leveling your weapon skills to their cap if there are not there already. Some people still are not at cap with their ranged weapons like wands, or maces for healers. This can mean the difference between killing that totem or finishing off a player when you are out of mana. By doing this, you will save some time later on when you have to level them in Northrend. After all the whole point in preparing for the expansion is to do what you need to do now, while you have the time, rather than later, when you have better things to do.

Save materials for your professions: Once you get to one of the Northrend starting areas, you can train to become a Grand Master in your professions and start leveling past 375. Some of your recipes from Burning Crusade may still be green, yellow, or orange. You can check at www.wowhead.com to see which recipes go grey when. Start to save up some mats to level some of these to get a head start in leveling the profession. Of course some end game recipes would not be reasonable to craft because of the high cost of materials. I would only do that if you really wanted to get that extra edge.

Some cooking recipes don't go grey until 385.

Some cooking recipes don't go grey until 385.

I’ll take cooking for example; [Spicy Crawdad] is still green, [Fisherman’s Feast] and [Hot Buttered Trout]will still be yellow at 375. I have already started saving up a few of the mats for these so I can save my Northrend meat and fish for better recipes. Kaliope over at WoW Crafting Blog has attempted to level cooking in the beta and has reported that it is going to take a lot of mats to get those final skill points to 450.

I don’t know about all the professions, but please leave a comment if you know of any reasonable recipes that you can use to give you those few extra skill points in Wotlk. My only trade skill at the moment is Leatherworking, and the drums are the only reasonable things I can make to get some extra skill points before I start with Northrend mats.

In [Part 2] we will cover liquidating your items, organizing, and freeing up bank slots in preparation for all the new items and mats you will be collecting in Wotlk. Look for it in the next few days.


Cooking: Raid Buff Foods

26 10 2008

Food in TBC

Whether you are on a PVE or PVP server, there will always be end game raiders. This means there is always a demand for raid food. Although cooking at its’ current state isn’t the biggest money maker, it is a small market with very little competition. Also take into account the low number of people to actually spend the time to level to max cooking, it is down there with leveling fishing as peoples’ least favorite professions. I personally love both. I have been using cooking to my advantage ever since they implemented the cooking daily’s. Your average stack of raid food will sell for 20g, not anything too amazing, but for the time involved for the gold gained is very worth it. It takes 40 seconds to cook a stack of 20 food, add about 20 sec for buying the food and your up to approxamatly one minute spent per stack. If each stack sells for 20g with an investment of 10g, that’s 10g X 60 stacks an hour, which equals 600g per hour. Obviously prices will fluctuate between your servers and which type of food you are making. Below is my process for providing my server with raid food.

  • Buy Meat & Fish – Go to the auction house and filter your search for “Trade Goods” then “Meat”. Search down the lists for your typical raid food mats, this may include Zangarian Sporefish, Talbuk Venison, Warp Flesh, etc. I like to buy my meat at 50 silver or less so I can make a decent profit from the cooked product. A few patches ago Blizzard had implemented a PPU (Price per unit) tooltip, which can be access by mousing over the icon of the item. Addons like Auctioneer can sort by PPU to make things a bit easier. Beware that some uncooked meats will cost more than its cooked counterparts, these may include Spicy Crawdad and Golden Darters.  Spicy Crawdad can only be fished up from a handful of pools in Terokkar and requires a flying mount to get to. It is also is used to get the last few points in leveling to 375 cooking and becomes a popular tanking buff when cooked, which may explain the higher prices. Keep in mind items like [Huge Spotted Feltail] is not considered a fish, but an off-hand, so search for those by name.
  • Cook it– Very simple, but can be boring while waiting. I used an Addon called “Advanced Trade Skill Window” to make things easier. It will enable to queue up foods you are going to cook and automatically buy the needed reagents when you click on a vendor. Very nice since it will buy all the reagents at once from the vendor, saving valuable clicking time. When you process your queue, once a certain type of food is done cooking, you have to press the button again.
  • Sell it – Do a quick search of the item to see the current price. Popular raid food will sell for 20g+ sometimes all the way up to 40g in the recent economy. Tuesday is a good day to list and re-list your items because raid instances reset that day and most guilds have raiding planned that night. One week, I had decided to save up all my food and sell them all on Tuesday afternoon. I listed about 60+ stacks of various cooked food, and by night time, I had made about 1000g.

Cooking can be a profitable profession, especially if your in the world killing things that drop meat. Some may not like the whole micro management aspect of it, but I don’t mind and it’s a nice consistant market that has items that are always in demand. If anything, the profit I make from cooking offsets all those auction house cuts and fees. If you are a max level cook, you may want to give it a try or add it to your current list of markets you participate in.

Wotlk Beta: Cooking was buffed tremendously in the beta. This is great for cooks who profit off this profession. They have introduced a new semi-rare reagent called [Northern Spices], which a only a few are rewarded from the Wotlk cooking daily quest. In addition, you can also use your daily cooking token, [Dalaran Cooking Award] to purchase 10 of these spices. The tokens are also used to buy some of the higher level recipes so it becomes a balancing act on buying spices vs. recipes. All the high level food require one of these spices to cook one piece of food. So if you wanted to cook a stack of the new raid food, it would take you two days just to get 20 spices to make it. This implies that level 80 raid food prices will be closer to potions and elixirs. These spices are only used for recipes 400-450, however there are some decent buff foods before that. The mats are just standard one meat to one food, so you will still be able to afford that stack of your favorite raid food. For example; [Shoveltusk Steak] has +35 Spell and +30 Stamina, vs the version that uses spices, [Firecracker Salmon] which has +46 Spell and +40 Stamina. Also note that the duration has been increased from 30 minutes to 1 hour. I hope to write more about this when Wotlk ships, I really like where cooking is going now, as well as fishing. Here is a sample of what Wotlk cooking looks like, note the new “tracking” foods. [Wotlk Cooking Screenshot]